More lateral thinking

October 11, 2009 at 11:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Look at this picture and tell me what you see first. . . do you see a young woman or an old woman?
young_old

Usually, you have to point out the other perspective before someone sees it. This is the problem with most people when they brainstorm. Once you’re adept at looking at a certain situation in a certain way, it’s hard to break free. Traditional brainstorming reiterates the same existing patterns and perceptions and only change them in a minor way. This does not lead to breakthroughs! Most people don’t know that they do this though. . . they’re trapped in a cognitive jail and don’t know it.

One of the ways to break free from the jail is to be purposely absurd. IE: find a random word and crossing it with your problem. The more outlandish, the better. Then run an experiment with that random word. It’s usually a waste of time, of course, but occasionally it leads to surprising results and unanticipated consequences. Once you look at it and say “hmmm, that’s funny. . .”, you run with it. This helps discover aspects about the problem that are not immediately obvious.

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